North Dakota Sets New Oil Production Records

Aaron Flint posted on October 23, 2013 13:03 :: 617 Views

North Dakota oil production sets new records, the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) notes that the Bakken and Eagle Ford are driving US crude growth, and Harold Hamm is profiled by National Review as someone who Alger Hiss “would blush to include” in one of his novels. 

Report by KTVQ-TV:

This past August for the first time, oil production in North Dakota zoomed past the 900-thousand barrel/day mark.

Just two years ago, North Dakota was pumping just over 446,000 barrels a day.. Bakken, Eagle Ford Driving U.S. Crude Output Growth, EIA Says

The Bakken and Eagle Ford shale formation increased U.S. crude production by almost 700,000 barrels a day over the past year, the EIA said. That accounted for 75 percent of the crude output growth across six regions the agency will track in the new report. An American Story-The rise of Harold Hamm, Algeresque oilman

Harold Hamm is a major oilman, the biggest in the United States. He’s also a significant contributor to our national debate over energy policy. But beyond those things, he’s an amazing story. Horatio Alger would blush to include him in one of his novels. Hamm was born the 13th and last child of sharecroppers in Oklahoma. Today, according to Forbes magazine, he’s the 90th-richest person in the world. (Remember, there are more than 7 billion of us.) Even foes of oil, and of capitalism generally, must smile a little, if only inwardly.

For “D.E. class” (distributive education), he wrote a paper on oil and its leading figures. He shows it to me, here in his office. It’s nicely typed and replete with illustrations. He wrote about J. Paul Getty, Harry Sinclair, E. W. Marland, Bill Skelly, H. H. Champlin, Frank Phillips — the largest of the larger-than-life figures. Hamm was interested in the following: How did these guys find this ancient wealth, i.e., oil? How did they land the big fields? What talent, or edge, or know-how did they have? These were men who had not only done well for themselves: They built up the state of Oklahoma, through their businesses and their philanthropy. Young Hamm thought, “I’m gonna do that.” It may have been an audacious thought for the 13th, or any, child of sharecroppers. But Hamm tells me he never felt trapped by his circumstances, never felt that he could not break out and succeed.

Several years ago in Washington, D.C., Hamm’s friend Bert Mackie, an Enid banker, introduced him to David Rockefeller. Mackie explained to Rockefeller that Hamm was in the oil-and-gas business. Rockefeller said, “Our family has done pretty well by it.” Like the original Rockefeller, Hamm has enabled a good number of other people to get rich (certainly richer). This is an effect of entrepreneurship. In North Dakota, there are many people who were once modestly off, if not downright poor, who are now millionaires — because they had land rights, for example, or, even better, mineral rights. Does Hamm get a kick out of helping other people get rich? Yes, he says. But he also notes a human tendency: “There are some who forget pretty quick who helped them . . .”

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